Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

sarma melngailis 01 Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

Warning: This post is really long, and gets really personal, with lots of curse words, and is all very self-serving. But kind of entertaining, hopefully?

I just finished reading a book – yes, I’ve been reading lately. It was by the British chef Marco Pierre White, “Devil in the Kitchen – Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef”. It’s a good title… because who doesn’t want to read about sex? From a hot chef? And pain and madness? Well yes, that too. It’s inspiring to read about people who know what they want and go through a lot to get it. But pain and madness? Is that what it really takes to achieve greatness? Does everyone have to toil tirelessly, sacrifice health, get hurt, worn down, and knocked down over and over, feel pain, and teeter on the edge of madness? If so… I’m SO on the right track! YAY!

I’m being convinced, however, that maybe I can step away from that edge and still get where I’m going, and probably much faster. After all, I’m supposed to represent the brand – One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine, we’re all about raw food and feeling great. When I first went raw the contrast was amazing. So much of the time I felt like I could do anything – life was a dance party. As I pointed out in Raw Food Real World, it can feel a bit like being on ecstasy – maybe not quite, but still it’s amazing. It’s been four years now – did I get used to it and/or is it stress and pressure that just put a damper on it all? I want the dance party back!

Some things are tempting, like coffee. A whole page in Raw Food Real World about how bad it is for you, and here I go tinkering with it again. I wrote an article on this for the next issue of Get Fresh magazine – on my little relapses with coffee and ultimate conclusions (that yes, it’s gross and not good). Stress makes it tempting to look for things to lean on. Right now I’m on a bit of a raw cocoa kick. I can’t do green tea. I drink it and then feel like I may puke. I didn’t make the connection at first, and started to get paranoid. I’d convinced myself it was morning sickness and that I must have had a bun in the oven (which would conveniently also rationalize weight gain), except that sex with someone would have been a prerequisite to that scenario so, at the time, that theory didn’t work out. It was just the green tea making me nauseous and nothing to blame for the excess luggage other than my unfavorable ratio of calories consumed to calories burned. Oh well.

I’ve been trying a lot of things to keep myself in “shape” physically and mentally, so I don’t give in to madness and can get to the greatness part without falling apart.

Personal trainer. Out of the blue, I got an e-mail from someone opening a new private gym nearby offering me a month of free personal training. Three days a week. This sort of scheduled time commitment made me entirely nervous, but it was too good to pass up. So it sucked up a lot of time in my days – it’s not just the hour that you’re there, it’s the getting dressed in gym clothes, getting over there, then dealing with the showering and hair drying and all of that afterwards. This guy was good though, really good. And working out in a private space is nice. (Edward Rush at He made each session worth it and I liked the pain. Yes, the pain. After the first session, I had to hold the railing and limp down the stairs to 22nd street. It didn’t always hurt so much, but I liked it when it did – made it all feel worthwhile – like I’d expelled some demons in the process. Or just unleashed some anger in a healthy way? Emotional detoxing? He said he was surprised at how tough I was… that he could push me so hard and I’d never wimp out. OH yeah. You can’t break me when I’ve got this much angst. I want to feel like Richard Gere in that scene from An Officer and a Gentleman, where he’s doing push-ups in the rain while being verbally flogged by Louis Gosset Jr. Lots of pent up stuff here that needs to get out.

sarma melngailis 02 Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

Well, that was all great, but then my sessions ran out and I’d gotten anxious about all that time away from work anyway. Of course, I did feel so much better and was in much better shape. Around the same time, seemingly out of nowhere I read something about a process called EFT. “Emotional Freedom Technique”. Hmmmm… sounded really corny, yet intriguing. It required that I download some big document to read and of course, no time for that, so I dropped it. A few days later, I had a business meeting with a random potential collaborator, and out of the blue, he mentions EFT. I told him I’d just read about it, and he gave me a referral. Our business relationship never went anywhere, aside from one additional odd meeting during which he suggested for me a daily ritual of saying to myself strange mantras in an unknown language, and then he asked me if I would be his friend. Um, what? You’re older than my dad, and what for? But I think it was really all meant to be, just for the EFT referral. I never saw that guy again, but I went to a session with Annie Siegel ( on Park Avenue.

I had no idea what to expect, but when you’re on that quest to feel better, you get pretty open minded. To summarize, the session includes lots of tapping on yourself, which feels kind of silly at first – really silly – but you just go with it, especially when you find yourself uncontrollably crying at the same time. Where did that come from? I have to say, EFT (especially with Annie) is the bad-ass shit. You start talking about stuff, having no idea where you’re going, and end up walking out feeling like you ‘resolved’ some issue that you’ve spent years on your therapist’s couch talking about. Could it really be that easy? I stayed with Annie for months and I’m convinced it got me through quite a bit. And I grew from it, and dumped a lot of baggage. Then I was feeling so much better, so I stopped going. After a hiatus from that (during which I since tried some more fun stuff) I’m now going back for more.

Acupuncture: I love it. But I don’t know. Hard to tell on this one. That’s what I like about EFT, instant gratification therapy. Unless you have a specific physical ailment, acupuncture is meant to be more subtle, I think. At least in its effects. Getting stuck up with needles isn’t too subtle. It hurts when they go in (more pain!), and then it sucks hard when you get an itch and are terrified you’ll give yourself multiple stab wounds if you try to scratch the itch. But it also can feel really good, and sometimes as soon as she leaves the room, I have an almost psychedelic out-of-body spinning sensation, which is pretty cool. And I get really energized about life. Other times, it’s like a release, and I lie there crying about nothing specifically. It’s sort of like drainage. Either way, I usually leave feeling a bit like I’m floating. Then again, when I get my hair washed with a really good head massage and then a blow dry, don’t I walk out of the salon feeling really relaxed? And with bouncy salon hair? So maybe I’m too impatient for acupuncture. But I miss it.

I also tried some Chinese herbs from the acupuncturist. She told me they would make me feel better. I want to feel better! I’ll try them! The following week, I pay about $60 for a big bag of stinky tree bark and other weird forest floor debris. I boil it in a pot on my (rarely used) stove and make my whole apartment stink. That murky brown tea is some rank shit. She says I shouldn’t add anything to it and if I must have a chaser, I could have a bit of honey or maybe “a raisin”. A raisin?? For real, just one? I disobey and squeeze a whole bunch of lemon into the tea, and yet still feel like I need my own personal cheering crew of frat boys pounding on a bar to get me to swill it. However, I managed to keep this up twice a day for about four days, until just the thought of my daily “tea” would inspire the flowing of those pre-hurling saliva juices in the back of my mouth. I have to say, I slept really well while drinking the skanky mud tea. But at the same time, I couldn’t quite get a handle on what else it was supposed to be doing for me. Aligning my “chi”? Balancing my “chakras”? I still don’t know what those are. What does that feel like anyway? Again, I’m too impatient.

More fun from the same office: little gold beads pressed and stuck all in my earlobes. Sure… why not? Let’s do that too! That was also supposed to be “balancing”. They hurt a little bit (yes, more pain) but they looked like cool jewelry and were fun to touch and play with until they finally fell out after a few days. I couldn’t tell if I felt more balanced. If they were supposed to be balancing, why would they only go in my left ear? I don’t get it.

Anyway, I will go back for more needling at some point, and I highly recommend the woman who does it. She also “does” a bunch of my restaurant staff, so she’s quickly becoming the resident Pure Food and Wine acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. Erica Siegel. If anyone wants to go, mail me through AskSarma and I’ll forward the number.

While I’m at it pimping all my “therapists”… I don’t do the colonics thing too often but when I do, I go to Kat Uzyoni. She gives good colonic. And she’s just super cool about the whole thing. And she used to work in the pastry dept of Pure Food and Wine. Not at the same time, mind you. But Kat gives you a really nice foot rub while you’re lying there under a big blanket with a tube in your butt. And she has a sense of humor about the whole thing. Which I think is necessary, no? She once commented on the consistency of my output, saying I was like “a little rabbit” and then started laughing. Good stuff. She’s cool.

I know I should do yoga. I know I know, I know. But I get intimidated. Like, I’m not in the club. I’m not flexible enough. I don’t fold like a book at the waist. I get embarrassed breathing really loudly. And I get annoyed when I hear other people doing so. I want to snicker and laugh. One time I got stuck in a class where we had to partner up with someone for part of the time. Terrified of the hairy man in shorts to my right, I whipped around to my left and ended up with a… hairy woman in shorts. She had prickly dark black hair all over her meaty thighs. As if getting in compromising skin-to-skin positions with her was not awkward enough, later in the class I pushed myself up into cobra pose and one of my boobs popped out of my tank top. See, I don’t even have the right properly fitting yoga clothes. It’s not meant to be.

Allrighty, life is fascinatingly weird sometimes: I just finished writing that last paragraph as I’m sitting here on an Amtrak train back to NY from Boston (where I spent a mere three hours, a quick “day” business trip). So yeah, we’re just pulling out of the Stamford, CT station, and I pause just now to look out the window. This lady is standing on the platform with her legs apart, arms up high and stretching to one side. That’s weird… she’s by herself, but in front of all these other people waiting for the train, and she’s doing yoga-like poses on the platform. How random that I was just writing all of this yoga stuff. Then we pass a guy a few yards down who is stretching his hamstrings, and then another, and then, I am dead serious, another, and then a girl sitting on the ground bending all the way forward (in that book way, that I’m not capable of). That was really odd… like a dream. I watched it all, saw them all one after the other as the train pulled away. Yes, that was weird. They weren’t all together either, just all spread out on the platform among everyone else. Was there some yoga conference in Stamford that I missed?

sarma melngailis 03 Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

Now, back to my cynical ways, I find myself thinking they’re probably all of the sort that regularly sign off their e-mails with “Namaste”. Namaste? Namas-what? WTF? Do you really just assume everyone knows what that means? What if I signed off all my emails and conversations with “Ar labu dien!” which means, Good Day, in Latvian. Well that would be just weird, I guess because, what’s the point. People who say “Namaste” are trying to make a statement I think. “I’m a yoga head and exist on a higher plane of consciousness and therefore I am at least somewhat superior and I’m letting you know this.” That’s what I hear/read. Oh dear! I’m sorry to all the truly lovely people I know who do this and mean only to spread more loveliness around. Yes, I’m just being cynical. Bitter? Am I being judgemental? Because I feel judged myself? I think I just need to find the Pure Food and Wine of yoga classes. We don’t take ourselves too seriously or make any presumptions. We just put out really good food that happens to undeniably make people feel pretty good too.

Back to Marco’s book. Sex in the title… it’s there to sell books, of course. Marco, you’re hot. We really wanted more sex stories. If I write a book, I’ll put more sex in it. If only I could work more sex into the next cookbook. Not really fitting. But. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll talk to the publisher.

I know of an amazing ‘psychic’ that I’ve called twice and been blown away by both times. Towards the end of our most recent conversation, still struggling for answers, I said something to the effect that I feel so desperate sometimes because I know exactly what I want to do, I just don’t know exactly what to do to get there. I don’t know what to do. I can see the whole company and business and how it all works, how it will cross-promote, and just how big it will be… I have the whole vision and it’s bigger than anyone knows, and it makes sense, and I will do it. I’ve been carrying around a power point org chart in my bag for over a year now – for a reason. As I told Amazing Psychic Lady though, I just feel stuck. I don’t have the resources and feel like I’m plodding along not knowing how to get there. Because I’m so busy all the time, I can barely breathe. It’s like I can see the big beach party going on at the most beautiful tropical island not very far away, but I can’t see how I’m going to get there because I’m in a boat full of little holes and every time I patch one to keep from drowning, I find another, and so on and so on. Or, like this one interesting older dude once remarked, after listening to me talk about my business… “It’s like you’re standing there holding onto a Ferrari with a fishing pole!” Well, thank you, I thought. It is truly lovely to feel so perfectly understood in some ways. But I also felt like, OKAY, well then are you going to just stand there amused and watch me? Because you got it soooo right on… that is exactly how I feel. And MY ARMS ARE FUCKING TIRED!

Yes, I know. Write up a good business plan, and getting an investor will be easy. There is more demand than we can possibly supply, and overwhelming interest. What’s my problem? They’re great problems to have, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. On top of my investment banking adventures, I used to work for one of the biggest private equity firms in the country, so this should be easy, no? I used to build gigantic merger models in excel, with complicated formulas and ten zillion different scenarios (all on no sleep). As many people like to point out, this should be easy for me. I know. FUCK OFF. Really. FUCK the fuck off. Don’t you get it? I can’t let go of the fucking fishing pole, so that I can sit down and put together a neat and tidy power-point plan. Besides, things are a bit more complicated than that.

Back to Amazing Psychic Lady. Now… I’m just open to stuff these days, and I like input from no matter where. What she says is not so much telling me the future – it’s more like she’s opening my eyes and showing me how to look at things differently. And it’s comforting. What could be more comforting than feeling like someone understands you completely without having to say anything? Anyway… so, I’m going on about how I still feel confused – what do I do? Because of course I want some easy answer. A solution. What does she tell me? That everything will work out. Knowing very little about the details of what I’m doing, she says… look at Martha Stewart. While she is doing her live show on TV, do you think the rest of her company is standing still? No. People are taking care of stuff, things are moving forward. Listen to your heart and do what feels right. Wake up each morning, and no matter what it is, do what you feel will bring you the most joy that day. It sounded nice. And I liked that she compared me to Martha, because I do it in my own head all the time, I just don’t talk about it. Anyway.

So. What will give me the most joy? I don’t know… eating a whole bag of Doritos with cottage cheese sounds pretty good right about now.

Still on the train, I slept for maybe one hour last night. I have that pasty tired feeling you get when massively sleep deprived. Amtrak probably dehydrates you too, like flying. I feel like my eyeballs are wrapped in saran wrap and my cheeks are heavy, pulling my whole face towards the ground. Like I desperately want to dive into a pool, or the ocean. I’ll settle for a cool shower and my bed.

SO… if I’m not meant to ever have negative thoughts… if I complain, dwell on feeling panicked, alone, in debt, all those things… then I perpetuate those things right? So most of the time I’m really good at doing the positive spin thin. I work hard at it. I smile even when I feel shitty inside. I put up a good front, not just for the world, for myself too.. But sometimes I really just want to whine… and give in, and cry and kick and scream and yell at all the people who haven’t been there for me, or who’ve teased me into thinking they would. I fell for it, so it was my fault, but still. So wait, I had a point. Or a question. I resist telling people the real dirt… if a friend asks how I’m doing, I have to say “great”! Some things are great. Other things are pretty scary. Or uncertain. Which is okay. But when you’ve got pressure from all sorts of angles, questions, things that put you on the defensive all the time… I don’t have the answers. I don’t KNOW. I know where I want to go, I see it all very clearly, I just don’t know or see yet how to get there, or who to trust. So if I tell someone what’s really going on… if I write about it here, (which I’m not going to do, at least not yet) – but if I expose stuff… am I being “real”? Or is it an entirely self-serving cry for help? Am I hoping someone will read it and be able to sense what’s really going on and be my angel investor, not take advantage of me, not expect that I quite have all my shit together, not expect more from me than what one human being can produce under reasonable circumstances with no resources? That someone will actually follow through?

But am I now just a girl crying? Somehow in the back of my brain thinking that if I cry (and try to look pretty doing it… ) someone will come rescue me from all my problems and help me build my business? What if I scream? Have a tantrum? Check myself into a hospital like Mariah Carey? She had a major “come-back” after that, no? Shave my head? Because really, when Britney Spears did that, and then there were those photos of her attacking a photographer’s car with an umbrella, silly as it seemed, I felt so badly for her I wanted to cry (yes, more crying). She’s a pop-star with lots of money, but that’s not what she needs – money. (I do!). I don’t know what it is she needs. A break from it all, I guess. For people to leave her alone and stop judging her. But she wasn’t getting that. Instead, people around her probably weren’t “getting it” at all, and the whole thing felt tragic. Like people were expecting too much of her, not listening to her, and so she finally lost it. And essentially by shaving her head like that, she was telling everyone to fuck off, and asking for help at the same time.

I want to shave my head too.


Anyhoo. I don’t throw tantrums. I never did. I don’t cry in front of other people if I can help it. I never once did it in my investment banking adventure days at Bear, Stearns. That legendary hardcore environment of all those “Wall Street” stories was the reality there for a couple of years… of how hard they worked analysts. My own stories trumped those. I could stay up for days (literally) and still make my balance sheet balance and get shit done, better than most of the guys. You prove yourself, you’re good, and what happens? You get more work piled on you because everyone expects you can handle it because you seem to be handling it so well. All in uncomfortable high heels, constrictive pantyhose (what a terrible word!), and business suits which seemed to get tighter as the days turned into nights. The skirt that felt okay when you put it on, zipped up and buttoned nicely, now feels like a bungee cord (sp?) wrapped around your waist.

Yeah, so I got used to this whole life, but occasionally I’d go hide in the stairwell of that tall office building in which I spent so much quality time, and cry my eyes out. No one ever saw me. Then I’d dry my face and go back for more.

Meanwhile, some fuck-wad Managing Director or other, usually prematurely balding as they all were, would do something like… tell me about how his wife and kids are all in the Hamptons and would I, you know, like to spend some time with him outside the office. Wink wink. WHAT? I’m standing here in your office looking at a smartly framed picture of your newborn baby on your desk. Eiw!!! I should call your wife and tell her what a troll she’s married to. Of course, I won’t. I’ll just smile, pretend to in fact be remotely interested, and try to get out of this gracefully. Of course, you can’t bruise anyone’s ego. Not smart.

Needless to say, I have more stories of that nature, with more detail, some of which I am not at all proud of (and will readily admit to), and some over which I could have more than legitimately sued the firm and made off with lots of money, so as never to have to put up with any long hours or other crap ever again, but I would never have done that. I was there for a reason and that was not it. People seemed to trust me, as they should have. But a lot of them didn’t deserve it. Still, I’ll change names when I do tell those stories.

Things all have a way of working out in an interesting way. Back to the crying thing. Jill Barad the former CEO of Mattel cried once on an earnings call. I remember hearing about that. She was not CEO for much longer. There you go.

Yes. So… there you go. I get lots of e-mail. Some people think I must have a “fabulous” life. Well, in many ways I do. I love it. I still love what I do. I’m on a mission and it’s great. I’m extraordinarily lucky. I know what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I’m surrounded by and work with amazing people every day, so many of whom I truly love and am so grateful for, it’s humbling. And now am even in love. That’s the best part. But what people imagine about me when they read about the restaurant, the brand and website, the book, etc. etc. I guess sometimes I forget about what they must see from the outside. Because for sure it’s not all as it apparently seems to be. For whatever reason, we get a lot of press attention from Japan in particular. They often ask me about my “beauty” regimen. Where I do yoga? What “spa” do I go to and where do I get facials? What designers are in my closet? Um… designers? I bought a pair of Prada heels in 1999, and they’re still in my closet, does that count? What am I supposed to say? I haven’t had a facial in ten years.

Just the other day, I was procrastinating from more urgent things and trolling through my “Ask Sarma” e-mails… haha. Ask Sarma. If only they knew. But anyway… this one girl/woman (no idea how old she is) writes, “Your life is my dream life!” And so I’m thinking, these people would all probably choke on their flaxcrackers if they knew that not only am I walking around often feeling entirely spent, weary and even on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but that I’m also carrying a few hundred thousand dollars of personal debt from all kinds of sources, that I’m currently being (legitimately) sued by a big bank for over $400,000 on top of that (for something that was not my fault but for which I have no defense, so am just trying to buy some time), that I’m full of burning rage to build this empire, I’m running a company (or companies) that is (are) always running out of resources, and all of that with a residual and occasionally reappearing destructive closet eating disorder. Of all things. Yeah. There you go. Fabulous!

sarma melngailis 04 Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

Earlier on the phone, out of the blue, my father asks me… “So, where do you see yourself in five years?” What? Are you Larry King? Or maybe just trying to get a current assessment on the bleak prospect of any grandkids from this particular one of your offspring? And maybe because we talk so infrequently there’s just not enough time for the small talk lead-in. Okay. Well I didn’t really answer his question. He knows I’m not the typical 35 year old female listening to my biological clock tick louder and louder as I search for an appropriate husband. Um, yeah, not me. But it made me think about where I was five years ago, which was a pretty scary place. More on that one day. Or, even just two years ago. Drama in the gossip pages. It was good press for the restaurant. And seriously embarrassing, but also vainly glamorous at the same time. No matter what, no one could honestly claim it’s not flattering to be written about in gossip pages. It was a crazy and confusing time. Terrified of so many things on the one hand, feeling enlightened and free on the other, relieved, panicked, paranoid, exhausted. And surrounded by a bunch of people protecting me. I lost a lot of weight. Maybe I can finally tie all this wordiness neatly back into raw food! Um, no. Raw food or any food, having lots of people paying attention to your needs all at once makes you not so hungry. But then they start to drift away and gradually that non-physical hunger comes back. I think that’s what happened. The panic had faded. Anger set in. I’ve been working on letting it go ever since.

Do I really post all this? Why do I want to so badly? Why is it that every time I sit down to work on cookbook-two text (if anyone has any brilliant title suggestions, other than “Raw Food Real World-Two”, send them my way), I start writing stuff like this whole thing? It’s like I can’t help it. If I write anything else, I feel like a phony. It’s like I need to get this out of my system first. But really, I should be focusing on work, not whining into my laptop. To address my father’s question, I know exactly where I want to be in five years. Like I said, I’m just trying to figure out how to get there. Reading stuff like Marco Pierre White’s book helps. Pain and madness, all part of the fun.

I wrote an E-mail to myself over a year and a half ago. And I think I’m going to copy it in here (the search function in g-mail is brilliant, by the way). And contradict myself since I think I wrote I wasn’t going to spill my guts. But I can’t help it if I have leaky gut syndrome. Anyway. I was wide awake and really mad and had no outlet. I don’t keep a written journal, so I typed to myself. I think I had a feeling I might want to be able to look back at it at some point. Either way, writing about stuff makes you feel better. So all this writing… is really for me. For now. A sort of cleansing that doesn’t involve drinking anything weird or putting anything weird in any other orifices, as I’ve tried that, and lived to write about it. Anyway. I have my cats now. I even have a personal assistant. Some things have changed, and a lot still goes on. Still. I want to yell, like Mischa Barton in that episode of the second seasons of The O.C. when she throws the lawn chair into the pool. But I don’t have a pool or any lawn chairs to throw in it. Or, much better, I want to fight James Gandolfini like Patricia Arquette in my favorite scene in my second favorite movie, True Romance. That’s my favorite movie scene of all time.

I don’t want to shave my head. I like getting my hair blown dry too much. What to do?

January 12, 2006, 1:18AM

I am so cranky! Here’s why: I work way too much, I have no personal time, no personal life, no personal support. I have colossal amounts of debt, and it’s humiliating, draining, at interest rates up to 30%. (Is that not illegal?) I don’t exercise, I feel like shit. I have so much to do, that I can’t even remotely get to a fraction of it, yet it is ALL critically important. Things that make it hard to sleep at night. Insurance, bills, employee issues piling up, everyone needing something from me, being on the verge of running out of cash at the restaurant, trademark issues, mortgage burdens, legal bills, are among the many, which are further among a morass of other, lesser, yet also important for forward movement, issues that I think about yet do not address. How’s that for a choppy, run-on sentence. And TAXES!!!

Further, I am vulnerable, to so many people. I do not have the independence or resources to be able to tell anyone to fuck off if and when it’s deserved. Add on to that the pressure of knowing that every day, all day long, I offend and insult family, friends, helpful associates and loyal employees because I do not call them back or return their efforts to reach out to me, b/c I just can’t get to it. People might think I am rude, ungrateful, selfish, self-absorbed, unreliable… and I HATE that. I do not answer Ask Sarma e-mails. I do not reply to compliments, inquiries, press or otherwise, questions, customers, vendors, etc. EVERYone says I need to take time off. Does not ANYone understand that this is IMPOSSIBLE. I am cranky because I am accountable to pay for some fuckwad to live in a huge and beautiful sunny place, that I do not want to live in myself because, hello!? I can’t afford it! Yet I still have to pay for it, for HIM, and at the same time, live in a closet about 1/6 the size with walls and ceilings closing in on me. I miss my cats. He has a washer and dryer at my expense. I have NO clean socks and dirty crumpled clothes everywhere that I do not have time to deal with. Instead, it looks like some scary drug lords ransacked my place for drug money. With dust balls floating around. And business contact cards and important notes, papers, receipts all mixed in to the mess. So I wake up, frantic and stressed, jaw aching from grinding my teeth, and have to get myself dressed and out the door in this chaos, and I have nothing to wear that makes me feel good about myself, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to find it. AND I get sweaty in the process because it’s so fucking hot in here, in the middle of the fucking winter. If I stomp around too loud, the alcoholic crazy lady from downstairs comes up in her pajamas (no matter what time of day it is), knocks on my door, and complains to me in a really NOT nice way, through her wine-stained rotted teeth. Fuck you, you rancid, rusty old cunt. AND, at least 50% of the time, I have a messy guy roommate and bedmate in this closet who I do NOT want to sleep with, who I feel drained by, crowded by, pressured by, prodded by, and judged by, such that I want to put my head through a wall, even though at the same time he helps me so much with my business and everything else, and I need it badly, and I’ve known him for fifteen years, and he comforts me too, protects me, and like no one else these days, I can trust him, and love him like a brother, so my options are limited. And then I only end up mistreating him and then feeling shitty. Therefore, to get away I spend many of those nights going to my old subletter’s apartment, where I wake up and have to put on the same dirty clothes, underwear and socks included, as the day prior, and then end up going straight to my office, which is an office version disaster of my apartment chaos. I haul my bag, computer, paperwork, etc. in a messy, overstuffed bag from apartment to office to restaurant to sublet apartment and back and forth all day, and never seem to have what I need. I am frustrated because my cellphone never works properly and I get tangled in the cords, chargers, earphones of all the various technology on which I depend, and haul, from place to place.

I am frustrated because I need HELP. I am frustrated because I KNOW that all these people around me are going to make money off of me, my ideas, my concept, all the work i’ve put into all of this and yet I have no day-to-day support and am supposed to be proactive and put this colossal, weighty, scary deal together myself, and I worry about allowing myself to get ass-raped in the process. OK, I do have lawyers looking out for me, and am really lucky for their help, but at the same time feel like a humiliated freeloading piece of shit b/c I don’t pay them. And of course, I have to put up with their (hopefully only good natured) flirtatiousness. Still, WHY do none of these people look at me and my business and think, YOU are and ASSET, a valuable one, and we can’t afford to have you wasting your time and making yourself crazy – we need to take care of you, put you in a comfortable environment, surround you with support and resources, fucking GROOM you so you don’t feel like shit and don’t look like a worn out, spent woman-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous breakdown that you currently are, with poofy bags under your eyes and shoddily self-plucked eyebrows over them. We need to send you Park Avenu to a office to have your sunspots lasered away. We need to take care of you, make your life easier and more comfortable, so you can be maximally productive, and look as good as you are so pressured to look, so we can extract the most value from you. We all need to stop hitting on you, confusing you, fucking with your self-esteem, flattering you on the one hand, making you feel really BAD and confused on the other, and in the awkward position of needing to stroke our egos because you need us so much. An emotionally confused, insecure, unhappy, overwhelmed, financially burdened, thoroughly frustrated, fully ungroomed, out of shape, exhausted, stressed out Sarma does not = maximum value for our investment.

To be continued.

Reposted from A Daily blog about all things related to a raw food diet.

Make sure you visit Pure Food and Wine when your in NYC and shop online for raw foods by Sarma at One Lucky

  • RawBeliever

    Sarma, I can’t believe that you were able to post something so deeply personal. You obviously were torn in your decision. I am sure just writing it was therapeutic for you. No matter what happens in your business life, you have to take care of YOU first. I hope you find the peace that you deserve.

  • Rebecca

    That was the most riveting thing I have read in ages. Soooooo refreshing to read the real story. Thanks Sarma. I hope you get your Park Avenue office one day. Sounds like you seriously deserve it. Hey if this business thing doesn't work out for you, I say go for a career in writing..

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